Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Guruji, what happens to the letters that are sent to you?
Sri Sri: They all come to me, don’t worry.
Q: Guruji today is Buddha Purnima, so please tell us something about it.
Sri Sri: Buddha stood for meditation all his life, all the time. We will do a short meditation now.
Q: Guruji, sometimes we are in a free state of mind when we can talk to anyone and sometime we are not. How to get that state of mind back?
Sri Sri: You mean at home with the wife? It does happen and people complain, at home my husband does not speak, but when some guest comes my husband speaks a lot. When I am alone with him he doesn’t speak at all; this is the problem, right? Your mind is such - sometimes you want to speak and sometime you have spoken so much that you have exhausted everything. You don’t feel like talking and so the prana has to go up for you to feel like talking more. That is nature. You don’t have to force yourself to talk, so be free.
Q: Guruji, if we do that people will think we are so insensitive.
Sri Sri: Let them say what they want. That is what you are trying to do, please them. ‘No I am not insensitive, I am sensitive.’
As I said, you do your job, whatever you should do you do, but don’t sit and listen to their problems, and don’t get carried away by it, got it!
Q: Guruji, how do you come to know what is going on in our minds even though we are thousands of kilometers away. How do you fulfill all our desires?
Sri Sri: That is my secret. If you attend the blessing course you can do that as well.
Q: When someone of our own suddenly passes away and we are not prepared when he leaves. There is so much to talk and to say and when he leaves you want to feel him. You said they are always there so how to do that?
Sri Sri: Those who have left will understand that this world is just a play, there is nothing really; it’s just a wave so there is no need to tell them or explain anything to them, without saying anything they will understand. When in the body, we understand using words but once we are out of the body, then communication happens through feeling. So don’t worry, you be happy, those who have gone have gone and we are here now.
Q: Jai Gurudev, you are so attractive, is this the bondage in my path? If I get stuck in your form what should I do to see beyond the form?
Sri Sri: So that you get detached from everything else - and then this will also automatically dissolve. You will see me more, much different than the form.
Q: Guruji, my boss wants me to be diplomatic and feels it is very important for communication but I am a very straight forward person and cannot be diplomatic. What is the right thing to do?
Sri Sri: Why do you put a label in your head ‘I am a straight forward person’ and why should a straight forward person not be diplomatic also? A straight forward person need not be rude all the time. Now you hide your rudeness behind that fact that you are straight forward, no you cannot justify the rudeness that way. Straight forwardness is necessary and diplomacy is also necessary, you have to have both. When you meet someone who is blind, you cannot tell that person, ‘You are a blind person’. You may say I am just straight forward, I am just saying the right thing, but you shouldn’t do that. So diplomacy is part of life; that is a skill you need to have. Diplomacy need not be that one is not being straight forward because it is not the opposite of being straight forward, not at all. These two things should go together.
Q: We always perform Tarpana on Amavas in reverence of the departed souls of the beloved ones, is it really something scientific or just a ritual?
Sri Sri: Well, Tarpana means ‘to satisfy.’ ‘Tarpa’ comes from ‘tripti’, which means fulfillment. Your ancestors had some wishes. Fulfilling them or taking them to be fulfilled, don’t crave for anything. That is exactly what Tarpana is: remembering the people who have departed once in a year.
In Christianity and in Islam also they do this for departed souls, particularly once in a year. So in India, in the ancient days, on amavas (moonless night) they kept remembering all the ancestors and they kept the full moon day to remember all the different manifestations of the Divinity. It is not only that every amavas you have to do something, but remembering them and doing some good work in their memory is good.
Q: Guruji, if our nearest and dearest ones don’t understand the feelings that we have towards you and they logically try to analyze and this hurts us. How do we handle this situation, this often comes in our life.
Sri Sri: Why do you want to explain everything to everybody? Feelings are such that people don’t understand. You don’t have to express all your feelings like that. They could be insecure and think that you will leave home and go to the Ashram and be there. So see that people don’t get into that fear. Your love and devotion should be expressed only as much as they can understand. Same with joy, sometimes you don’t know how to express your happiness; if you express too much people don’t understand.
One devotee went to a funeral of somebody, a mourning meeting and there were bhajans and he started dancing and the people didn’t understand. There is satsang and bhajans, of course you dance when you are in joy and he said that anyways everything should be a celebration. But if you dance there people can get annoyed. So you should see what a person can understand; how much they can understand and how to convey what you want to convey. Be skillful in conveying so that your expression doesn’t bring fear and anger in others as much as possible. And then ignore. Beyond a level you should simply ignore.